To the U.S. military, climate change is a security risk, a “threat multiplier for instability.” The Age of Consequences connects the dots from climate change to drought in Syria, which displaced millions of people and was the likely catalyst for the Syrian Civil War, to instability in the Sahel, also fueled by drought, to the growing refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. Indeed, the Arab Spring itself may have been sparked, in part, by food shortages brought on by drought.
The less resilient a society, the more vulnerable it may be to the disruptions of climate change. But as climate change produces cascading disasters, even the biggest military in the world will find it hard to respond. The military experts interviewed in Jared P. Scott’s film don’t doubt that the world is already experiencing the effects of climate change. The only question is whether humanity can act in time to mitigate the worst of the possible consequences.